Pilgrim to the Russian Church

Jim Forest, Author, James H. Forest, Author
Jim Forest, Author, James H. Forest, Author Crossroad Publishing Company $15.95 (139p) ISBN 978-0-8245-0898-2
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Forest, communications secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, headquartered in Amsterdam, credits his friendship with Dorothy Day as the catalyst in his turning toward Russian Orthodox spirituality. The journalist author began to visit the Soviet Union in 1983 as recent political reconciliation opened programs of contact and dialogue. This daybook, based on letters to his wife and on the visits they made to the U.S.S.R. together, is aptly subtitled. In exploring the Orthodox Church, largest religious body in the Soviet Union, with an estimated 50 million members, this ``pilgrim'' describes a complex structure, liturgy and imagery deeply rooted in Russian culture. In churches, seminaries and homes from Moscow to Leningrad, Forest was surprised to find that not only older women, ba bushkas, but also young people of both sexes actively practice their faith, evidence of religious stirring in an officially atheistic country. Dwelling on the icons and liturgies in various places, Forest communicates his feeling of being ``at home'' with Christians in the Soviet Union. Photos. not seen by PW. (August)
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